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What’s In My Bag: How This Photographer Uses Her Key Cameras & Lenses For Outdoor Pet Adventures

When photographer Arletta Fussell (@ourpacificnorthquest) first got into photography in 2019, it was just to take better photos of her dog on their adventures. Fast forward four years…and her main focus is still her dog, but it has expanded to capturing friends and clients, the beautiful landscape of British Columbia, and continuing to document their adventures wherever the trail takes them. “I try to incorporate my love for the outdoors in every photo — regardless of who, or what, the subject may be,” she says. Keep reading as she takes us through a tour of her photography kit of two Sony full-frame cameras, two Sony primes and one lightweight Sony zoom lens kit for capturing adventures with her dog and more.

Product Preview – In This Article You'll Find:
Sony Alpha 7 IV
Sony Alpha 7 III
Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master
Sony 85mm f/1.8
Sony 70-200mm f/4 G

Arletta Fussell's kit for outdoor adventure photography

Cameras

Sony Alpha 7 IV: I switched to the Alpha 7 IV in the fall of 2022 after using a mirrorless Canon since 2019, and feeling like I ‘outgrew’ my camera. My favorite features of the Alpha 7 IV are the live tracking autofocus, which is essential for dog photography, and the flip out screen, as a lot of my photos are taken at awkward angles (or while on the ground). Being able to personalize ‘My Menu’ and the custom buttons allows me to prioritize the functions that I need most, so I can change specific settings (such as the silent shutter) while on the go. Having a camera that is both compact and light when I’m on the trails was a big factor in selecting the Alpha 7 IV, as I wanted to be able to carry it in my running vest while I’m hiking or trail running.

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/1000-sec., f/2, ISO 125

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/1000-sec., f/2, ISO 125

Sony Alpha 7 III: My second camera, that I take out when my partner is using the 7 IV for his mountain bike videography, or use as a backup when I am doing a shoot. For my backup camera, I wanted something that operated similarly to the Alpha 7 IV, and would produce the same quality of photos. As both cameras have similar customization and settings, it makes transitioning between the two seamless.

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/1250-sec., f/1.4, ISO 125

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/1250-sec., f/1.4, ISO 125

Lenses

Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master: My preferred lens for adventures, especially if I’m traveling light and only bringing my running vest. This is my must have lens, as I can use it for both landscape and portrait photography. I prefer a wider lens to capture as much of the landscape as possible, as I want the viewer to feel like they were there when the photo was taken. Having the extra Fstop ensures that my photos are properly exposed in the dark forests of the Pacific Northwest. This lens is compact, lightweight, and super sharp — everything I need for a trail run or day hike.

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/2500-sec., f/2.2, ISO 100

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/2500-sec., f/2.2, ISO 100

Sony 85mm f/1.8: My most recently purchased lens, and I added it to my kit for two reasons: lupine season in Squamish, and the compression. The 85mm is essential for pet photography, as it produces stunning portraits with beautiful bokeh, and has a quick, responsive autofocus. Lately, I have been using this lens to experiment with different types of landscape shots, and I am looking forward to my first snowfall with this lens.

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 85mm f/1.8. 1/400-sec., f/1.8, ISO 400

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 85mm f/1.8. 1/400-sec., f/1.8, ISO 400

Sony 70-200mm f/4 G: This telephoto lens is quickly becoming one of my favorites, especially when it comes to both action and landscape photography. While I will always love photographing dogs (or wildlife), landscape photography is what keeps me inspired. The 70-200mm helps me capture different perspectives, and allows me to keep my distance when shooting wildlife. The f/4 G OSS is incredibly sharp, thanks to the Optical Steady Shot, and an affordable option that packs a punch. I would take this lens everywhere if I could.

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 70-200mm f/4 G. 1/1000-sec., f/4, ISO 640

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 70-200mm f/4 G. 1/1000-sec., f/4, ISO 640

Accessories

Bag: For me, my bag depends on the adventure. If I need to be light on my feet (which is most of the time), I shove my trusty Sony Alpha 7 IV into my Salomon ADV 12 Running Vest. It requires a delicate game of Tetris, but this bag allows me to carry my essentials for hiking, along with my camera, without sacrificing comfort. For photoshoots, and when I don’t mind carrying a little extra weight, I bring my Shimoda Explore V2 25. With it, I can carry both cameras, all of my lenses, and anything else I might need for a shoot, or a longer day in the mountains.

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 70-200mm f/4 G. 1/1600-sec., f/4, ISO 320

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 70-200mm f/4 G. 1/1600-sec., f/4, ISO 320

Bear Spray and Garmin inReach: Necessary for exploring backcountry trails, and keeping in touch with my partner when in more remote areas.

Peak Design Camera Strap: Quick-connecting and removing, so I don’t have to fuss with my strap when I’m on the move.

String Cheese: Essential for dog photography, to reward patient subjects.

Extra Memory Cards: Thanks to the double SD slots in both cameras, I always make sure to have at least two on me at all times (and a back-up just in case).

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/1600-sec., f/1.6, ISO 125

Photo by Arletta Fussell. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/1600-sec., f/1.6, ISO 125

Lens Cloth & Blower: I always bring both when I’m doing a shoot with dogs, to clear off both dog hair and dirt when I’m changing lenses, or to wipe off a nose ‘boop’.

Microfiber Bag: I put my camera in this microfibre bag when I’m carrying it in my running vest, to keep it protected and dry.

See more of Arletta Fussell’s work on Instagram @ourpacificnorthquest.

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